By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Also playing Monday:
MEZZANINE OWLS, ELI “PAPERBOY” REED & THE TRUE LOVES at Spaceland; LE SWITCH at the Echo; CUT COPY at the Echoplex; LOUISE GOFFIN at the Hotel Café; THE ADICTS, THE DICKIES at House of Blues; HAZELDEN at the Key Club; BANG SUGAR BANG, PORTERVILLE, SILVER NEEDLE at Silverlake Lounge; DESTROYER, DEVON WILLIAMS at the Troubadour.
TUESDAY, MAY 20
M83 at the Echoplex
You’ll find the most intense identification with adolescent girls outside of a Viacom boardroom or the pages of a young-adult paperback in France’s M83. Brimming with teenage Sturm und Drang and suburbia-fermented yearning, Anthony Gonzales went insufferably overwrought on 2005’s Before the Dawn Heals Us. Trying to find the intersection of Twin Peaks and Dark Side of the Moon, he wound up at the prom. After sprouting out of nowhere or, more specifically, squeaking through the glut of Parisian filter house to drop 2003’s Loveless-on-a-Commodore fantasia, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, Gonzalez inches back from the brink on this year’s Saturdays = Youth. He’s still after Wembley-filling anthems, sure. But at least he was smart to call on producer Ewan Pearson. The Berlin-based Englishman consistently delivers techno’s most absorbing remixes, swoon-worthy epics of surging ecstasies. Here he marshals Gonzales’ pursuit of the “big sound” into shivering, distortion-blurred sunrises and cotton-candy tangles of vaporous melody. The twosome should totally go steady. (Bernardo Rondeau)
Also playing Tuesday:
THE PRESETS at El Rey Theatre; ELI “PAPERBOY” REED & THE TRUE LOVES at Amoeba Music, 7 p.m.; CLINIC, SHEARWATER at the Troubadour.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21The Kills at El Rey Theatre
The Kills’ Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince come crawling out of a thick cloud of their own cigarette smoke armed with just a drum machine and the jaggedly cool tunes of their third full-length album, Midnight Boom. The new songs have a heavily rhythmic drive and an occasional hip-hop delivery that’s inspired by schoolyard hand claps and chanting, then pumped up with the pair’s surreally poetic cut-&-paste calls and responses. Just when you want to slap them around for being so terminally mannered, they smack you upside your expectations with the sinuously persuasive way they trade off wiry barbs on such tracks as “Last Day of Magic,” “Sour Cherry” and “Cheap and Cheerful.” Mr. Hotel has received more attention in recent months for his relationship with model Kate Moss, so it’s refreshing to finally have the focus back on the Kills’ music. Hince throws down sly lines about mismatched, tragic loners amid the fuzzy guitar punches of “U.R.A. Fever,” while Mosshart rises above romantic disappointment on the ethereally pretty “Black Balloon.” She decries “What New York Used to Be,” transforming an anti-gentrification rant into something subtler and more cryptically catchy. (Falling James)
The Dresden Dolls at the Wiltern
The Boston duo the Dresden Dolls can always be counted on for some dramatic thrills and chills, along with their carnivalesque attire and performance-art surprises. Drummer Brian Viglione and singer-pianist Amanda Palmer’s closely calibrated dynamic swells and flourishes should sound suitably impressive inside the grand old Wiltern, a high-ceilinged Art Deco theater whose echoing acoustics often turn louder and bigger rock bands into an indistinct mush (not that the Dolls are some quietly solemn act like the Swell Season — when Palmer’s not trotting out such dainty early tunes as “Coin-Operated Boy,” she hammers her poor piano with a stormy fury). They’re promoting their third full-length studio CD, No, Virginia, a collection of b-sides and outtakes that’s a companion to their second album, 2006’s Yes, Virginia. Unlike most such odds-&-sods assortments, No, Virginia works as a fully satisfying album, encompassing the formal pop elegance of “The Mouse and the Model,” the emotionally ravaged austerity of “Gardner” and the frantically creepy “Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner,” along with a fanciful accordion-pumped ramble through the Psychedelic Furs’ “Pretty in Pink.” (Falling James)
Also playing Wednesday:
MEGADETH, IN FLAMES, CHILDREN OF BODOM, HIGH ON FIRE at Long Beach Arena; ADAM GREEN at Amoeba Music, 6 p.m.; CAVE SINGERS, MOONRATS at the Echo; SARA LOV at the Hotel Café; ADELE at the Roxy; MISS DERRINGER at Silverlake Lounge; THE BLACK WIDOWS, SWORDS OF FATIMA at Taix; ADAM GREEN, TIM FITE at the Troubadour.
THURSDAY, MAY 22
Dizzee Rascal, El-P, Busdriver at El Rey Theatre
Talking about English MCs as grime artists is dumb to begin with, but in the case of British rap star Dizzee Rascal, it’s straight-up idiotic. The stuttering U.K. garage beats are still there on the slamming new Maths + English (released a year ago overseas), but somehow the drums are more cracking, while the synth hooks range from Atari cute to dystopian eerie. Hell, the only thing outing him as a European is the drum & bass beat of “Da Feelin’” and, of course, that council-estate slang mixed with a Caribbean lilt. As always, his verses paint vivid pictures even when they aren’t crystallizing ghetto truths. The advice given to aspiring musicians on “Hard Back (Industry)” alone justifies this disc’s purchase — oh, and the female chorus you hear on “Wanna Be” is none other than homegirl Lily Allen. Co-headliner and Def Jux boss El-P will hurl his patented lyrical curveballs atop future-bleak production. With L.A.’s own verbal shredder Busdriver. (Andrew Lentz)